From The President's Desk Issue 2

This is Carl Josephson’s Editorial from the Issue 2  “From Death to Life” Magazine.

Tragedy struck a young friend of ours recently. Her father died suddenly and unexpectedly. She has a faith in the risen Lord Jesus Christ, as does her mother, but her father…? Well, he showed little interest in Christianity. Our friend wants to know where her Dad is now, and what will happen to him.
It made me thankful to God, yet again, that in His infinite wisdom He has not granted immortality to all; that those outside of Christ will be judged and destroyed, not eternally tormented.
I was talking with a young mother who some years ago received a visit from the police to tell her that her mother had been murdered. Again, there was some doubt about her mother’s salvation. To her, comfort lies in God’s justice and mercy. She does not have to think of her mother possibly being tormented day and night right now, or later. She does not have to try and reconcile eternal torment with the God revealed to us in the Lord Jesus Christ, a God of Love.
One of the young men in the local youth group shared with me a year or so ago about the time the family he was boarding with lost a teenage son. Once again, there had been no interest shown in Christ. This young man shared with me how he wished he had known and understood conditional immortality at the time because the dead boy’s father had challenged him- “You believe that my son is going to hell to be eternally tormented, so how can you comfort me or expect me to come to church and believe in a God of love?”
I often wonder how those Christians who do believe in a state of eternal conscious separation from God for the unsaved (whether fiery torment to some modified version) can faithfully counsel those who have lost unbelieving family and friends. Do they avoid the inevitable conclusion of their beliefs- that the dead person isn’t really resting-in-peace.
So they pretend that the person has gone to heaven? Or do they compromise the love of God by trying to justify a loving God who also punished some of our loved ones with eternal discomfort?
How can we expect to convince others (or ourselves) of eternal happiness and peace with Christ if we believe that some loved ones are consciously, eternally, crying out for relief from anguish and pain?
Thank God for revealing Himself to us as a God who does judge and condemn sinners, but who gave His own Son on the cross to pay the penalty for all who would believe, and who will destroy all who refuse to turn to Him.
YES, conditional immorality is relevant to everyday life and death.
YES, conditional immortality is an important doctrine to be preached faithfully in the Christian Church, and spoken of as comfort and hope for the bereaved.
YES, we do have a role to play in promoting, a correct understanding of the Biblical teaching of conditional immortality.

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